Flowers and fatigue

Spring is my favorite time of year.

Everything is fresh and new and vibrantly alive, the flowers are all blooming, and the various many-legged critters that disappeared for the winter are returning. Summer is nice, but I don’t cope with the heat so well these days, and fall is beautiful but it just makes me sad because everything is dying and I know winter is ahead – I don’t cope with intense cold so well, either. So spring is my favorite.

Of course, spring gets me into trouble. Having been cooped up indoors all winter, I tend to run amok as soon as the first hint of warmth appears – and crash. Every year I say I am not going to garden, and then I buy a bunch of plants, have to take care of planting them all, which also frequently leads to crashing. But it’s fun at the time. 😉

Last weekend I did a bunch of weeding, both by running the weed-eater and the old fashioned way on my hands and knees, and then I planted a dozen or so baby hostas a friend had given us (weeding and planting is fine as long as I stay down on the ground but anything that involves repeated crouching and standing doesn’t play well with my POTS) before making a trek to the local big-box home improvement store for mulch and some border fencing.

The border fencing is to block in the area under the porch because that is Eater of Things’ pooping area of choice and it’s almost impossible to get under there to scoop. I realized as I stood in the middle of the mulch aisle that I had overreached; it was almost more effort than I could even begin to contemplate to load all that mulch and the fencing, and I briefly thought of just abandoning the flatbed cart and leaving it for another day. But I felt like that would be wasting the trip and I’d still have to face it another time so I just sucked it up and dealt. I got the stuff home, spread the mulch around the newly planted hostas and put up half of the fencing before finally calling it a day.

Screenshot of Fitbit app showing almost 16,000 steps after a day working outside.

I took this screen shot from my Fitbit app to save it for the next doctor who tells me I just need to get more exercise.

It’s funny, when I overdo it, it is usually not until two days later that I pay the full price. Monday I got up, not feeling too fatigued or even being too sore, and I thought “that wasn’t so bad” but then Tuesday it was all I could do to just drag myself out of bed and go to work. My HRV measurement registered the insult to my system:

The gauge shows red and cautions that sympathetic nervous system activity is abnormally high.

Screenshot of Elite HRV app reading two days after yard work.

My muscles were sore and weak, my joints were wonky, and my skin hurt. Breathing took effort and my head felt packed full of cotton, except for the part of it that hurt. I was nauseous and dizzy. All this is pretty much what usually happens and I have no one to blame but myself – not that I ever seem to learn my lesson.

My efforts to disguise the crash didn’t quite succeed so on top of all that, I got the usual “I told you so” lecture (deservedly, I guess) from my partner as I limped and shuffled foggily around the kitchen that morning. I needed lunch-naps almost every day this week to manage, and it was a relief to get to the end of the week.

Now it’s the weekend again, I still haven’t put up the rest of the fencing and the lawn steep hillside needs mowing again, but I think I will take it easy for today and see if I feel like tackling either of those things tomorrow. Maybe not both. 😀

Featured Image: Close-up of blooming rhododendron bush with bright pink blooms.

2 thoughts on “Flowers and fatigue

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  1. I’m the same. Itching to get gardening. Haven’t given in to temptation yet though.
    I wanted to ask you about Fitbit and that Elite HRV app. You obviously get good use out of them? Should I invest in them? I think I want to take better biometric records but not sure how. The easier the better! Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll write more when I have a chance to be at an actual computer keyboard, but the short answer is that I’m still getting a feel for finding patterns in HRV monitoring, and the app needs to be paired with a chest strap. I use the Polar H10 which is awesome. My Fitbit I have a love – hate relationship with. I really like the app, the step and floor accuracy is good, but the heart rate monitoring is abysmal. I’m not sure if there’s anything wrist-based that’s any more accurate, though…

      I have a half finished post in my WP drafts about this that I need to finish and put up, maybe I’ll actually finally do that later this week as I’m taking a few days off work so may actually have the energy for it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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